Tea Party favorite Rand Paul may be in a quandary as to the subject of the rights and freedoms of the individual American citizen. Rand, freshman senator from Kentucky, rose recently to defend the people during a discussion of the invasive measures of the now newly extended Patriot Act, that act established by G. W. Bush following the attacks of September 11, 2001, to provide for wiretapping and similar measures, in pursuit of terrorists. Rand Paul asked a rhetorical question: “What rights have Americans sacrificed in the name of counterterrorism?” Bully for Rand.
In another terrorism-related instance, Paul was outspoken, and many would agree. Kentucky Public Radio documents that in Bowling Green, Kentucky, two gentlemen of apparently Islamic or Arabic background were arrested on charges involving terrorism. Rand Paul pointed out: “At least one of them had been in prison in Iraq and had been fighting with the insurgents and had been accused and put in prison for planning IEDs at the time. What I want to know is, how the heck did he get into our country, then?”
But the junior senator from Kentucky is not always so in sync with the masses. According to The Huffington Post, which makes reference to a report from Alex Seitz-Wald, a writer for the Center for American Progress Action Fund, Rand Paul made some extreme statements in an interview with Sean Hannity. According to Seitz-Wald, Paul made this statement to Hannity on Friday, May 27, this year:
I’m not for profiling people on the color of their skin, or on their religion, but I would take into account where they’ve been traveling and perhaps you might have to indirectly take into account whether or not they’ve been going to radical political speeches by religious leaders. It wouldn’t be that they are Islamic. But if someone is attending speeches from someone who is promoting the violent overthrow of our government, that’s really an offense that we should be going after — they should be deported or put in prison.
If the attributed words were spoken, then Rand Paul seems to have an interest in sympathizing and identifying with the old cultures in faraway places like North Africa and the Middle East. He seems to be moving in the very direction that the students of the world now protest; suppression of various freedoms, in this case freedoms of speech, assembly, and religion! If Paul made that statement, then he believes that people In the United States should be arrested for speaking out on important matters, on their beliefs, or even for listening as others speak out. Had senators in earlier times made such statements, they would have been called irresponsible at the least, dangerous in the more extreme.
Paul is a favorite of the Tea Party set. He has strong opinions and he speaks his mind. But in some cases, his extremism may be a mixed blessing.